Thursday, July 7, 2011

Do You Remember?

"Days Of Carefree Childhood"

It is really interesting what different people commit to memory. For most people, it may be only significant things which either were happy memories, or traumatic things that occurred in youth. Others may completely block memories of the very unpleasant or traumatic things, while other only seem to recall the bad, while not easily recalling the good things that may have happened in their life.
I am good at remembering details on many things which happened many times in my life, from childhood through the present day. I am also good at remembering things such as telephone numbers, addresses or places where I have lived over my lifetime, and contract details having to do with things such as when I purchase a car on time, and having to do with leases on various properties leased over time.

I could do better at recalling the names of persons I meet briefly, though. If we get involved in conversation, for example, I may not later recall that person's name.
Old Style Alarm Clock

I recall that at age two, I was given an old wind-up alarm clock to play with by my Mother. I remember sitting on the living room floor, taking it apart, piece by piece. I remember taking out the spring, and unwinding it. I also recall in detain putting all of the pieces back in the place they were before, and that all of them fit perfectly. The only piece that I was unable to replace was that big unwound spring. I did not have the physical ability to rewind that spring, as my little hands and fingers, just did not have the strength to rewind it and replace the clip that held it in place.

I remember moving from Ohio to Georgia, and riding in the back seat of the car. I also recall riding through the Smokey Mountains on that trip. I guess those twists and turns of the mountain roads were what made me get very car sick, too.
Mountains with curvy roads
I remember my late Husband's drivers license number, as well as his Social Security number, as well as his Contractor's License number for the state of California. Of course, I also know my own numbers for my Social Security and Driver's License.

I remember the wedding anniversary of my parents, as well as both of their birth dates. I know the dates that most people in even my extended family were born, married, and for those who have passed away, I also remember those dates.

The brain is the world's most extraordinary computer, capable of containing all of the information in every library in the world. Most people don't come close to using the full capacity of the brain.

I remember the name of nearly all, if not all of the pets that our family have ever had. I have given up trying to recall every home I have ever lived in, though I used to be able to describe them all. I think this was pretty much useless information, that really had no impact on my life. After all, who really cares about every single place we lived in my entire life?
Old Photo Of A Pet Dog

Don't you think it's interesting how as we collect more and more memories in our life, when we try to recall certain details, as we search the files in our head, that it seems much like your computer searching the hard drive, for some individual file? It's much like scanning, searching, and waiting for that file to show itself, very much like your computer. The primary difference is, that the brain is a living organ, unlike the hard drive, which can be wiped clean, or nearly so. Only upon severe damage, or amnesia does the brain really blank out many things. In time, most things forgotten can eventually be retrieved though. Once you completely wipe clean a hard drive, it is usually impossible to regain the records, unless you have thousands of dollars to pay a forensic computer technician to try to retrieve lost files.

For humans who have forgotten events in their life, especially if those memories were of something which may have affected one's life, a psychologist or psychiatrist may be able to help a person eventually recall those things. Other people simply feel the forgotten memories were too traumatic to even attempt to recall, and the it may actually be worse recalling them, than to just keep living as they are.

Memories can be wonderful. That is why we take so many photos of family, friends, and vacations, collect our school photos, and save our school yearbooks.

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